At a book signing last week a female attendee engaged me in a conversation about all the genres I write. When I mentioned that erotic romance is one, she balked. How could I write something that demoralized women.
She went on to say that she had read a few erotica stories online and found that the scenes where women were dominated offended her because women should be equal to men everywhere, including in the bedroom. She also found the alpha heroes to be male chauvinist pigs. "How can you write something that demeans women?" she asked.
Quite the contrary, I responded. I write about common female fantasies. I also pointed out that most erotic romance is empowering to women. Not only are most of the authors female, the majority of the publishing executives are as well. Aside from that, our heroines are nearly always strong, capable women who can take care of themselves. Sure, alpha heroes make every attempt to dominate the heroine, but she holds her own every time. After all, these are not your grandmother's old fashioned bodice-rippers we are writing!
I think the woman walked away with something to think about and I'm confident she won't make that blanket statement to any other erotic romance authors in the future.
But what do you think? Do you find erotic romance empowering or demeaning to women?